Huntington and Hobbes
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A review of Samuel P. Huntington's
"The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order"

by Robert Trout

East West Dialogue

"There can be no true friends without true enemies. Unless we hate what we are not, we cannot love what we are."
Huntington in 'The Clash of Civilizations'

Samuel Huntington's ideology is an attack on the fundamental teachings of Christianity, which are the basis for Western Civilization

"The Clash of Civilizations" was published in 1996, around seven years after the Berlin Wall fell, and the Communist governments of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union were largely replaced by governments that sought friendship with the West. The author, Samuel Huntington is a spokesman for an influential faction in the foreign policy establishment. Before publishing this book, he penned an article on the same theme in the New York Council on Foreign Relation's publication, "Foreign Affairs."

Samuel Huntington was a member of a grouping of students which included Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski, who were schooled by William Yandell Elliot at Harvard University. The British educated, Elliot was a defender of the British Empire and the Southern Confederacy. Elliott trained a number of key operatives who rose to high positions in the government where they promoted these policies. Huntington collaborated with Bzrezinski, including working with him on a Trilaterial Commission project, called the 'Crisis of Democracy', which promoted the idea that there was an excess of democracy in the United States.

Huntington is attempting to saddle the post Cold-War world with a new division of the world into cultural blocks; Western Civilization, Islamic Civilization, Chinese Civilization and others. In Huntington's view, the Cold War has been replaced by 'the Clash of Civilizations." In fact, Huntington's book is a dirty operation to subvert Western culture, and the foreign policy of the United States, and bring on conflicts that are destructive to the interests of all cultures including the West.

To quote Samuel Huntington's opening chapter:

"The central theme of this book is that culture and cultural identities, which at the broadest level are civilization identities, are shaping the patters of cohesion, disintegration, and conflict in the post-Cold War world.

"The balance of power among civilizations is shifting: the West is declining in relative influence; Asian civilizations are expanding their economic, military, and political strength; Islam is exploding demographically with destabilizing consequences for Muslim countries and their neighbors, and non-Western civilizations generally are reaffirming the value of their own cultures."

Huntington rejects Western Christian Civilization

It should be obvious to any half way astute reader that Huntington rejects the very Christian values, that he claims are central to defining the nature of Western Civilization. Huntington states that: "The term "the West" is now universally used to refer to what used to be called Western Christendom." However, a discussion of Christendom or Christianity is almost completely lacking in Huntington's book. Had he discussed the content of Christianity, it would have exposed how his ideology is completely contrary to the basic teachings of Christ.

Examine this passage from the first chapter:

"One grim Weltanschauung for this new era was well expressed by the Venetian national demagogue in Michael Dibdin's novel, Dead Lagoon: 'There can be no true friends without true enemies. Unless we hate what we are not, we cannot love what we are. These are the old truths we are painfully rediscovering after a century and more of sentimental cant. Those who deny them deny their family, their heritage, their culture, their birthright, their very selves! They will not lightly be forgiven.' The unfortunate truth in these old truths cannot be ignored by statesmen and scholars. For peoples seeking identity and reinventing ethnicity, enemies are essential, and the potentially most dangerous enmities occur across the fault lines between the world's major civilizations."

"Unless we hate what we are not, we cannot love what we are." Is this not the outlook that Christ denounced when he taught to "love thy neighbor as thyself," love your enemies and turn the other cheek?

Huntington and Hobbes

Samuel Huntington's outlook is coherent with the ideology of Thomas Hobbes. Examine the section from Thomas Hobbes' book "Leviathan," which is on the right side of this page. Hobbes was an English philosopher, tied to Venetian aristocratic interests, who was a propagandist for reactionary forces in England. Hobbes opposed republicanism and was a proponent of a reactionary monarchy.
Hobbes argued that men must naturally fight each other for control over desirable objects. This leads to hatred and a state of war of each one against each one. This permanent state of war among men can only be controlled, if their rage is contained by a dominant power "to keep them all in awe." This is, of course, a prescription for a dictatorship to keep the unruly masses under control.

Huntington's arguments are really no more than a restatement of this Hobbesian outlook. He divides the world into different cultures. His description of Western Civilization, and of all the other cultures is completely shallow. For example, he mentions that "Confucianism is a major component of Chinese civilization," but doesn't bother to discuss the nature of Confucian thought. He certainly does not discuss the values that Confucianism shares with Christianity, which would undermine the basic thesis of his book.

Instead, having presented his Hobbesian ideology of a "war of every one against every one," Huntington attempts to scare his Western readers with facts and statistics purporting to show how the West is occupying a shrinking proportion of the world's production and population pie. Any reader who has accepted Huntington's Hobbesian ideology is led to believe that economic development, and improved living standards for people of other cultures must necessarily represent a threat to 'us,' that is, the West.

Who is to Blame for America's Decline?

Recently, I met a petroleum engineer from Egypt, who is now working in Houston, Texas. He told me that when he first came to the United States, he visited the production facility of a major U.S. producer of oil field equipment. This company is very respected throughout the Middle East. However, he was totally shocked when he saw their factory, and found it old, dirty and broken down. The majority of the production workers were also old enough to be near retirement age.

Although hearing this from a foreigner, who came from a country that is far less developed than the U.S., surprised me, I had heard similar stories numerous times before; for example, from railroad engineers; from machinists; from a union leader in the chemical industry; and from people who live near a deteriorating railroad, which is also a major route used by trains carrying chemicals into some of the main chemical plants in the Houston area.

These impressions are accurate. A recent study by the American Society of Civil Engineers gave America a D+ for it lack of investment in infrastructure. Trillions of dollars of investment are required to merely bring the nation back to the level of 1970.

However, the decay of America's industries was certainly not forced on the this country by the relatively poorer nations in the Middle East and Asia. Rather America succumbed to the ideology of the 'post-industrial society,' which asserted that the nation had entered the era when the industrial age was to be replaced by the post-industrial Age. This ideology was fostered a group of establishment think tanks; by the same circles that produced Samuel Huntington. The 'post-industrial society' ideology was launched as government policy by the Carter administration, under the direction of Carter's national security advisor Brzezinski, the fellow student with Huntington of William Yandall Elliot.

During the last 25 years Americans have largely accepted this ideology. Traditional manufacturing and heavy industry were labeled 'sunset industries,' and America's future, it is claimed, lay with the 'sunrise industries' such as the 'information technology.'

The 'post-industrial society' ideology has been promoted under the disguise of environmentalism, with the argument that industry is bad for the environment. It has been promoted, especially among conservatives, under the guise of deregulation, and free trade. Government investments necessary to maintain the nation's infrastructure have been halted, with the argument that 'big government is bad.'

Consequently America's factories have been shut down, while the U.S. has registered the largest trade deficit in world history, and has become the largest debtor in the world. America is traveling down the same path that took Argentina to bankruptcy.

America's shift to a post industrial economy is dramatically illustrated by examining the change in the composition of the U.S. labor force over the post World War II period, and by comparing the composition of employment in the U.S. with other countries.

Did America's Founders Understand Human Nature?

It was during the period that America was making the transition to a post industrial economy, that Samuel Huntington, published his thesis that 'Western Civilization,' is about to be overwhelmed by the growing economic power of China, and the growth of the Islamic world. According to Huntington, we must see the successes of other nations in lifting their people out of poverty as a threat to us.

Should we be happy about the development, of other nations, or should we see their successes as representing the potential to threaten us in the future? Let's ask the men who built America. A quick survey of the thinking of key figures who shaped America's remarkable development, shows that all were enthusiastic supporters of the development and prosperity of other nations.

Cotton Mather, one of the leading thinkers in Colonial America, profoundly influenced Benjamin Franklin with his book, 'Bonifacius, An Essay upon the Good.' Mather completely rejected the 'law of the jungle' ideology of Thomas Hobbes, and instead taught that man must seek to do the good in every way possible, to be truly human. Mather recommended that one should make the entire world, and all it's people, the field upon which one must do the good.

America's Founders consulted the writings of Emmerich de Vattel, in drafting the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution. Vattel counseled 'that each individual nation is bound to contribute every thing in her power to the happiness and perfection of all the others.' He proposed that the best strategy for an advanced nation to follow to help backward nations shake off barbarism, is to assist these nations in developing.

Alexander Hamilton, John Q. Adams, and the men who founded the Republican Party were all strong proponents of the economic development of other nations. Lincoln's most important economic advisor, Henry Carey was involved in designing development projects all over the world.

A defining moment in the 20th century was the confrontation between Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Churchill over Roosevelt's insistence that British 19th century methods be replaced with American System methods for economic development of Africa and Asia. Unfortunately, Roosevelt died before he could realize his plans, and colonialism lived on.

Finally, Lyndon LaRouche, the only man who has advanced a solution to the current crisis in the United States, has demonstrated that the survival of the US requires a reorganization of the bankrupt world financial system. A 'New Bretton Woods' reform of the world financial system and development projects to rebuild the entire world are the only possible path that the U.S. can follow for recovery.

Where Do You Stand?

The American System, that was designed and promoted by the men referenced above, was based on each nation exerting sovereign power over it's economy to insure the nation's development; and also cooperation among nations, to promote the development of each other. Were the founding Fathers correct in rejecting the Hobbesian view of human nature? Perhaps it is time you figured this out. However, to do that, you may need to examine the assumptions that govern your thinking. You will also need to do some serious intellectual work. Americans used to believe in that.


Durer: Doctors with Christ

Christ: 'love thy neighbor as thyself.'
The Bible, Luke Chapter 10

27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.
28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.
29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?
30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves.
37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.




Thomas Hobbes

Thomas Hobbes:
"war of every one against every one."
Sections from 'Leviathan,' Chapter 13

"Men by nature equal. . . For such is the nature of men that howsoever they may acknowledge many other to be more witty, or more eloquent, or more learned; yet they will hardly believe there be many so wise as themselves; for they see their own wit at hand, and other men's at a distance. . . .

"From equality proceeds diffidence. From this equality of ability, ariseth equality of hope in the attaining of our ends. And therefore if any two men desire the same thing, which nevertheless they cannot both enjoy, they become enemies; and in the way to their end, which is principally their own conservation, and sometimes their delectation only, endeavour to destroy, or subdue one another.. . .

"From diffidence war. Out of civil states, there is always war of every one against every one. Hereby it is manifest, that during the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called war; and such a war, as is of every man, against every man. ...

"In such a war nothing is unjust. To this war of every man, against every man, this also is consequent; that nothing can be unjust. The notions of right and wrong, justice and injustice hafve there no place. Where there is no common power, there is no law: where no law, no injustice."

For the values common to Christianity and Confucianism, Go to:

Confucianism and Christianity


A German manufactured magnetically levitated train. Only China has begun the construction of these trains systems. Projects in other countries have all been cancelled.


Composition of the American labor force 1950-1990

Millions of jobs (excluding farmers)

Year        Goods Production  %            Services    %

1950                 26.5                 51           25.7           49

1970                 23.4                 33           47.3           67

1990                24.9                 23           85              77

Figures from Executive Intelligence Review


Composition of the GDP for various countries

                 GDP            %                     %                  %

Nation     per capita   agriculture      industry      services

China       $3,600         15                     50                 35

USA         $36,200          2                     18                 80

Belgium $25,300          1.4                  26                 72.6

UK           $22,800         1.7                  24.9              73.4

Malaysia $10,300       14                    44                 42

Israel     $18,900           4                    37                  59

Ireland   $21,600           4                   38                  58

(Figures from CIA Book of Facts)


Production of Steel and Cement

                         Steel                   Cement

            (millons of tons)     (millions of tons)

China              141                      520

Japan              103                         80

U.S.                   90                          87

Russia              58                          27

Brazil               27                          43

Mexico            13                          30

Argentina         4                            7

Colombia         1                             9

World total  847                     1,520


For More on the American System:

Leibnizian Natural Law

American System

For a discussion of the common values contained
in Christianity and Confucianism, go to:

Confucianism and Christianity

America's Founders were guided by a completely
different conception of natural law. Go to:

Leibnizian Natural Law

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